originally published 7/21/2010
Fifteen people joined Mountain Conservation Trust (MCTGA) on Saturday, July 17 for a hike along Long Swamp Creek in Pickens County. Thanks to the generosity of private landowners off Grandview Road, the group experienced some of the beauty of the area includin
g healthy hemlock trees and rock outcroppings. Fording the creek many times, hikers got their feet wet but none seemed to mind. The weather was mild with overcast skies. While rain loomed in the distance, the group was spared of the downpours experienced of late.
After passing through the gorge with beautiful natural rock sculptures, the hike included a view of a 40 foot waterfall and a tour of the community garden on Cove Road.
MCTGA will host a second hike on Long Swamp Creek behind Pickens High School on Saturday, July 31 at 9 a.m. Keith Ray of Auburn University and native of Pickens County will collect fish samples to learn about the diversity of fish in the stream. This information will also be compared with data collected several years ago to see if the health of the creek has changed - good or bad. Ray will share his analysis of the overall condition. Scientists use the presence (or absence) of fish as indicators of the stream's overall health. Long Swamp Creek is a beautiful stream and is home to one of the largest known populations of the Etowah Darter (etheastoma etowhae), a federally endangered species and the primary source of drinking water for the City of Jasper.
Mountain Conservation Trust of Georgia hosts educational events and outdoor activities for the public. To register for the July 31 hike, please contact Patricia Muesse at 706-253-4077 or e-mail at patricia @mctga.org. For more information about MCTGA or future events, visit their Web site at www.mctga.org
At right, Hikers crossing Long Swamp Creek, photo courtesy of mctga.org